Saturday, November 2, 2013
Elton Unveils His New Organ
The funds for this world-class instrument were raised in large part due to two benefit concerts by Elton and percussionist Ray Cooper (one at the Royal Albert Hall in 2009 and the other at the Royal Opera House in 2011), both of whom spent some of their early years at RAM.
On October 22, Elton and Ray participated in the inaugural event for the organ at Duke’s Hall and launch of the Academy's new Theatre appeal. In a speech given during the evening, Elton spoke about his affection for the Academy, which he attended for five years as a teenager on a Junior Exhibitioners scholarship, and the power of music as an affirmative force in the world:
“Music is the common denominator amongst us all. It is the common denominator whether you are Catholic, Protestant…whether you are Muslim, Hindu…you can all relate to the same piece of music.
Whatever colour your skin is, whatever sexuality you are, you can all come together in one place and celebrate joy with music. That is an amazing power — the power of music is one of the most positive things in the world, if not the most positive thing. To celebrate it is a privilege.”
Also during the ceremony, Elton and Academy Principal Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood played the organ alongside student Peter Holder, with Ray joining on timpani, on Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss.